Green Day at UNBC
Prince George, B.C. – UNBC is certainly living up to its green reputation today.
The school on the hill is celebrating its 10th annual Green Day – an homage to all the green initiatives going on there.
Many of the green projects were made possible by a revolving loan that was made available by the University to the Energy Management Team five years ago.
The loan provides the capital to finance energy projects, and is repaid through the project-enabled cost savings.
UNBC says 80 per cent of the energy cost savings of a project are used to replenish the loan, until the project costs have been repaid. After the loan is repaid, payments continue at 50 per cent of the energy cost savings for the lifetime of the project.
“The revolving loan is basically a line of credit. $250,000 was made available to us in 2012,” said Amanda Drew, UNBC energy technician. “So, we’ve done the LED lighting all around campus. So, our exterior lighting and much of our interior lighting as well. We’ve also recommissioned a bunch of our buildings.”
In all, she said the revolving loan has allowed UNBC to fund more than 20 energy projects costing more than $1 million.
Drew added they’ve seen “tremendous energy and cost savings” since and noted they are “growing exponentially.”
Another green project showed that we can all do our part to help maintain a sustainable environment.
Erik Searle and 10 of his peers created a display with 365 take-out coffee cups to show the amount of waste students create on campus.
“So, we went around and collected mugs out of the garbage cans all over campus. It took us 20 minutes a day for two days to collect enough cups to build this structure,” he said.
“And then we went around to local charities to get them to donate travel mugs to us and we’re giving away these travel mugs with the purchase of a $2 sticker to try to get people to reduce this.”
Fellow student Keaton Freel said the take-out cups fill up landfills and take years to decompose. He said making the change to using travel mugs is one thing we can all do to help.
“It’s about forming the habit – you get into a routine and you don’t have to think about it anymore. We live in a convenient society where you’re not really me to think about doing things like that all the time. Same thing with bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. Once you start leaving them in your car, once you make a habit of it, it doesn’t seem any less convenient.”